As feed subscribers will know, yesterday I added a del.icio.us link about the apparent blocking of all international traffic to George Bush’s official re-election site — non-Americans need not apply. I gave the link a comment along the lines of “Somebody please tell me that this was accidental.
Well, the BBC has followed up, and it was no accident. The article reports that Scott Stanzel, a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign said: “The measure was taken for security reasons.”
Ah, yes. More small-minded, isolationist, useless Security Theater. This action may have been taken in response to a DDOS attack on the site that occurred earlier this month; with a very tight race, I’m sure that the Bush-Cheney team wants to make sure that the site is operating.
What probably bothers me the most about this is that it conveys a mindset of “swift, decisive action is more important than a considered response.” How does the rest of the world feel about being prevented from accessing the official Bush-Cheney campaign site? What if they’re interested in learning more about the Bush campaign’s ideas? Who cares? Screw them, those foreigners aren’t voting, so their opinion isn’t worth squat. What if there are, say, Americans abroad — either anti- or pro-Bush, who want to learn more about the ideas upon which Bush is campaigning? Tough nuts. They shouldn’t have left the US of A.
And then, of course, there’s the fact that this swift, decisive response to an apparent, nonspecific potential for “threat” doesn’t actually accomplish anything. An internationally based DDOS attack could still take down the Bush-Cheney site by hitting the IP address of the machines, or by attacking the other domains — pointing to the same site — that are still accessible to the rest of the world. Despite this draconian “security measure” the Bush-Cheney campaign site is no safer than it was before.
Anyone who chooses to draw parallels to other signficant events in recent history is welcome to do so.